Jun. 29—Officials in Whitefish reminded boaters to take to the water responsibly after authorities responded to a report of a capsized vessel on Whitefish Lake earlier this week.
First responders with the city's police and fire departments headed to Whitefish Lake about 7:30 p.m., June 27, learning that five people had been rescued from a stricken vessel by another boat. None of the five were injured, according to a press release.
The rescued boaters later told authorities that the boat lost power with the bladder tanks full of water. The boat nosed forward and down, filling the bow with water, officials said. It soon began to slowly sink.
A team comprised of members of the county's Sheriff's Office, Search and Rescue and Dive Team as well as city police officers located and removed the boat on June 28.
In the wake of the sinking, officials asked that boaters keep properly-sized and Coast Guard-approved life jackets or personal floatations aboard — one for each person — and readily accessible. They also urged boaters to abide by "no wake" speed requirements when within 200 feet of the shoreline, docks, swimmers, rafts, non-motorized boats and anchored vessels.
And with water in the lake at record high levels, they asked that boaters stay farther from the shoreline to reduce possible erosion.
A list of state boating laws can be found at https://fwp.mt.gov/activities/boating/rules-regulations.
News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or email@example.com.